Trespassers Will

Trespassers William, Piglet’s Grandpa,

sat ‘pon a log in the mead.

“Someday, I hope, said the Piggie Grandpa,

that my grand-piglets can read…


I hope they will know a Pooh from a Roo.

And why Tiggers are wonderful things.

And how to garden with contrary Rabbits.

And that Owls inherit their wings.


And how to have courage.

And how to have friends.

And there’s no one else quite like you.

And to always include every Eyeore you meet,

be they happy or crying ‘Boo-who’.


And oh, not to fear any heffalump lumps!

Nor woozles woozling about…

Be brave, little piglets, no matter what;

Shout at them, “P-p-pleaze, stay out!”


Maybe Christopher Robin might help me make

A sign that just fits the bill…

We’ll post it right here at Pooh Corner;

And I’ll sign it “Trespassers Will!”


Back. Back to that long-ago place

One. More. Time.

But unlike Dorothy,

The fanciest shoes I own

Cannot take me there.

Their clicks are mute.



Like cows who never come home to rest.


And in my imaginings—

Be they wakeful or beyond—

No warmth can match Grandma’s arms,

Holding me when I hurt,

When life crowds too close.

Can enfold me.

Hold me.

Rabbit Hole for me.

Like Alice and her looking glass.


That mirage, of what once was,

Wavers in the distant fog,

Tempts me close out sanity;

And walk the corridor

To a place where change is coin at best.

Second star to the right,

Through the night,

One-way flight.

To Neverland and Peter Pan and what was—but is no more.

Just Keep Swimming

Unconscious, trees breathe, alive, but not sentient.


Likewise,  we breathe, knowing few secrets

of the spiritual

in which

we are immersed;


We splash about the unfathomable deep,

teeming with forces

for good


and bad–


Buoyant with life itself,


We drift in the sunshine

Of good days

Of bright tomorrows

Of warm yesterdays—


Heedless of the unseen

invisible lifeguards,

life rafts,

shrill blasts of warning whistles.


And we,


just keep swimming.

When the Magic Doesn’t Work



Like some golden elixir

Through my veins,

Burning away the glitter,

The pink speckled shrapnel,

Where the tumor burst,

Seeding my body with poison…


The audience gasps…


“And now, for my next trick,”


Wave the magic wand;

Make the cancer disappear.


Saw the woman in half,

Remove all the… ‘nothing up my sleeve’,

Nothing in my hat,

Nothing in my headscarf.


Pick a card, any card,

A doctor, any doctor,

An outcome…


Spin the magic box, say the words, and, Voila!

She has vanished.


“And for my next feat, I will need a new volunteer; raise your hand and let me see your veins.”

Surface Life and Deeper: In Two Parts

There once was a sweet potato named Sam.

In his best, most tuberous voice,

He’d repeat the phrase of his choice,

Reminding the world that he was someveggie of note:

My name is Sam; I yam what I yam!


But somehow, through the soil and the sand,

And oftime through the mud all around,

It never rang true, all muffled of sound,

Though his leaves, in the sun, ruffled refrain;

“My name is Sam: I yam what I yam!” he tubered again.


Daily he’d stretch up more greens and more vines

Toward the towering oaks and the wind-swaying pines

Who soared high above

Where Sam dared not strive.

To the overcast clouds,

To the bees in their hives

To all that moved free, not shackled like Sam—

“I can’t roam like you, but I yam what I yam!”


Then, late in the season, the farmer began

To dig up the field and harvest the sweets.

He dug up the furrows, the tators and weeds.

Sam’s eyes in bright sun, roots out of the dim–

For the first time, forever, not buried or grim,


No longer needing to shout or to scream,

He lifted a whisper, dared shatter the dream,

And all of the world finally heard his refrain,

“I yam what I yam,” he softly proclaimed.

“My name is Sam,” he whispered again.



Um, I’m not liking that one at all…


I am short. I am fat.

I’d make a better sleeping cat,

Than all the things they say I should be,

A mom, a ‘talent’, a statuesque twig,

Have hair—and not cancer, just a form for a wig

That never fits right

And forever is itching.

And I should talk ‘positive’ and stop all this b****ing…

As chemo melts through

All the ‘me’ that I was.


And well-meaning friends, helpful and certain

Keep telling me nonsense will stop all the hurtin’

Like ‘it’s only hair’ (not when it’s on your own head)

And “This, too, will pass (it’s better than dead)”

Their phrases, too, are but scarves for the ‘bald’

When my wishes and dreams lay exposed,


shaking, aching,

The outcome unknown.


Little but dross,

Being refined.


There are no trite phrases

That can be rhymed

And make glad the rhythm

Of life chemically metered

in twenty-one days…


Seven of misery,

Seven, some better

Seven in countdown to start again…


Flamingo flock on the lawn marches forward

Like some cancer-pink army, flailing in chaos

And eating their shrimp to maintain their hue…

“It’s only feathers. It will grow back”

As they enter my dreamtime, ‘ports’ bulging their necks,

Drip bags dangling from waggle-ing beaks,

Counting the days, the treatments, the weeks.


And should any small part of my ‘I am’ remain,

When all of the smelting, dross-purging are through,

May God, the great, eternal I Am, –who happens to have hair, whether or not I do–

Find some scrap of MY ‘I am’ still faithful and true.


After two prompts, and having recently completed that many chemo treatments, just let me give fair warning that, though this is, evidently, going to be a catharsis for me, of all the tearful nights and painful days, this is not ‘daisies-and-sunshine writing. It is rather morbid. It is helping me heal already. It certainly may be disturbing for many of you. PLEASE do not feel the need to comment or respond. I have so very many well-wishers swarming around me daily, that this morning I discovered I have a lot of grieving to do and they can’t stop me from doing it here. They can’t curtail my ‘negative’ worrying, my fears, my frustrations…and it is all going to be dumped here. Maybe by 9am tomorrow, I will find a daisy-and-sunshine couplet, but for now, it’s all about ‘pushing up daisies’ and the burning hell glow of helium and chemo.

Intro 19

Hi, Everyone. Back again, serving time for rhyming behavior. This is either my third or fourth thong–er, I mean thon.

Heck of a year for me. Lost house, hubby, health.

Currently in chemo, cognitive studies at Jefferson Hospital in Philly, as well as unpacking and waiting for the bank to sell our old house. Cognitive issues make it hard for me to synthesize just about anythings. From items in the freezer that should make meals and just look like boxes, to boxes in storage that don’t ring a bell when I’m looking for important stuff to unpack, to words–just words. They’ve never been ‘just words’ before. And what to put together is a challenge.

Halfway through my book and am re-reading for editing. Can’t wait to get to the end and find out what happens. Don’t remember writing most of it. Every book is that way–surprise endings, no matter how many times I’ve read it.

Hubby isn’t gone-gone. Just psyched out from losing the house and hiding it from our family until it was too late. His brain is fried. Which gives me another issue to deal with–mostly alone.

Teenagers try to be a help, but other than the oldest going for groceries and the youngest giving good back massages from time to time…

My emotions should be just lovely for the prompts!

Testing, 1, 2…

This is a test. This is only a test.

Had this been an actually poem, you would have been notified by rhythm and rhyme, near rhyme, alliteration, and rampant imagery.

This test is brought to you by the comments of the many persons who still keep saying they can’t log in.

This concludes this emergency posting test of the Poetry Marathon system.

The Post on Sunday, 10 a.m.

First, the conflagration of multiple postings and passwords and screens–myriad circus rings, with Jacob and Caitlyn wearing their high hats, balanced upon the trumpeting elephant of last year’s performance, as the parade of introductions promises ‘astounding feats beyond the imagination’, death-defying acts beyond mere pen and ink.

Then, the multitude of participants; a population of word jockeys, all saddled and dissembling words and meanings, meanings and words, chomping at the bit, ready to race from the post, past the tittles, and pulling up only at the final jot, where victory roses never smelled so sweet as in the imagination of those who have never worn their wreath.

And then there is me. Beast of burden. Gray and worn. Plodding where the fodder is ample and the sun is warm. Where old bones–and memory–tread slowly, half-dazed, half-mad, with the tattered remnants of dreams dispatched by dragons and windmills.

The whole–the enormity of this many people all sure of the perfect word for the perfect sentiment–is overwhelming. I cower in the shadow of what they might accomplish. And what I will not.

But I am not here to race, only to complete the task I have set for myself. I wish myself only the right word at the write time in the right place.

To you all, I wish the roses.



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